Boise water company applies to raise prices

June 14, 2013 

— Capitol Water Corp. has asked for a rate change that would increase customer bills by 2.37 percent beginning in August.

The company, which serves customers in the West Bench area of Boise, says the jump in water prices is due to an increased cost of power needed to produce the water. Robert Smith, the utility consultant for Capitol Water, said the company’s power bills this year are $23,000 higher than when base rates were set five years ago. The company needs to use a certain amount of power in order to distribute water, he said, calling the amount of power needed “totally uncontrollable by Capitol Water.” “It’s the electric power used to run the wells, to pump the water out of the ground, and to push it around the system to provide pressure,” Smith said. If approved by the Idaho Public Utilities Commission, the increased price will go into effect Aug. 1. It wasn't immediately clear how much the change would cost an average customer. The Purchased Power Cost Adjustment for Capitol Water is currently set at 1.85 percent. The group is applying to raise that to 4.22 percent. The additional fee would be added to a customer’s monthly water bills after all other charges for water have been accumulated. The commission will have to decide to approve or defer the increase by Aug. 1. The rates often fluctuate with the rise and fall of Idaho Power rates, Smith said. Customers can file comments with the Public Utilities Commission, and review the application, case number CAP-W-13-01, at www.puc.idaho.gov or at Capitol Water’s office at 2626 Eldorado St. in Boise.

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